Academia has become more demanding than twenty years ago, particularly, the job outwith university. Just this morning I received three requests to review a paper. Each from a very reputable journal and a each a legitimate requests, i.e. I asking me to assess a paper in a my academic field.
Reviewing papers and grant applications is, of course, part of my academic responsibilities, and hence part of my scholarly practice. But I am already reviewing five NIHR (National Institute for Health Research) grant applications this weekend, as well as an other paper for BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth, and there are two PhD theses next my bed which I need to exam. On top of this I have been ignoring several reminder invitations to review a research proposal for the Croatian Science Foundation, as I simply do not have time to do so, however, much I would like to do so.
The forthcoming REF 2021 is not helping. UK academics are frantically submitting their manuscripts to academic journals to have them in print before the end of 2020, to beat the REF 2021 deadline. The flip-side of this reviewing coin is that my collaborators and I have had three papers turned down in the past year by a reputable journal as it could not find appropriate reviewers. Three articles on three very different aspects of our work, one a UK-based study, one a European study and one a study based in Nepal. For two of these manuscripts the journal took nearly a year to come back to us, wasting the chance to submit the paper elsewhere.
Perhaps it is due the rose-tinted spectacles of looking at the past, perhaps is it simply my level of seniority (compared to twenty years ago) but I don’t think so. The underlying trend is that the volume of papers submitted to journals is growing faster than the number of academics volunteering to review. This blog is, therefor, also a call for my academic colleagues to step up and agree to review on (extra) paper. Interestingly, I made a not dissimilar call in a BU Research Blog eight years ago! Unfortunately, the overall situation has not improved.
I haven’t even mentioned the exponential growth in email requests to academics submit papers to so-called predatory journals! I counted 15 requests in the past two days alone and it is only 10 AM on Saturday morning so more to follow later today.
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen
Through immediate internal publication and open peer review, eBU is ideally placed to support the developmental needs of authors at any career stage, and I’m pleased to say that, so far, the 2014 issue has seen a levels of engagement from across the career spectrum. eBU has had two working paper submissions so far in 2014 (and there are plenty more in the archived 2013 issue!).
Firstly, under the Lifelong Health and Wellbeing theme, Sheetal Sharma (HSC) and colleagues submitted a paper titled Eliciting Nepali women’s views on childbirth and the newborn. A full text file of this paper has been openly reviewed and can be viewed here – http://ebu/index.php/ebu/article/view/17. I understand Sheetal has just submitted this paper to an external journal, so best of luck and we await with great excitement to hear the outcome!
Secondly, under the Education, Learning and Practice theme, Jonathan Williams (again HSC) has submitted a paper titled Is student knowledge of anatomy affected by a Problem-Based Learning approach? A full text file of this paper can be read here – http://ebu/index.php/ebu/article/view/24.
eBU was also delighted to be able to support outputs from the 2014 PGR conference, and a number of PGRs have decided to use eBU to showcase their work. Why not take a look at the following abstracts and posters:
Business, Entrepreneurship and Economic Growth
Alice Bonasio – PGR Conf 2014 Abstract: Customer Engagement Through Crowd-Funding and Social Media: http://ebu/index.php/ebu/article/view/21
Lifelong Health and Wellbeing
Ben Hicks – PGR Conf 2014 Abstract: Using commercial computer game technology to benefit men with dementia residing in rural areas of Dorset: http://ebu/index.php/ebu/article/view/19
Sheetal Sharma – PGR Conf 2014 Abstract: Pregnant and ‘dirty’ for 40 days: A qualitative study of childbirth practice, beliefs and myths in Nepal: http://ebu/index.php/ebu/article/view/20
Jonny Branney – PGR Conf 2014 Abstract: Is spinal manipulation associated with changes in cervical inter-vertebral motion?: http://ebu/index.php/ebu/article/view/23
Research Methods and Practice
Jenny Roddis – PGR Conf 2014 Poster: Experience of interviewing: face-to-face vs. telephone: http://ebu/index.php/ebu/article/view/22
Technology & Design
Manuel Salvador – PGR Conf 2014 Poster: Automating Data Pre-processing for Online and Dynamic Processes in the Chemical Industry: http://ebu/index.php/ebu/article/view/18
Following on from my last post ‘Developing a Working Paper at BU’ in January of this year, we are now within sight of having an exciting new online journal at BU. eBU will provide both an internal and external forum for the development of research papers by undergraduate to Professor around the eight BU research themes:
– Creative & Digital Economies
– Culture & Society
– Entrepreneurship & Economic Growth
– Environmental Change & Biodiversity
– Green Economy & Sustainability
– Health, Wellbeing & Ageing
– Leisure & Recreation
– Technology & Design
Submissions will be open to immediate publication (in a safe internal environment) and open peer review by 2 appropriate BU academics. Authors will be encouraged to act upon these reviews by either reworking papers for submission to an external journal or by opting for publication on the external eBU site.
For BU academics this is a great opportunity to get critical appraisal on your research papers or ideas from colleagues. For academics it also an opportunity to encourage the submission of high quality student output, and possibly to facilitate the co-creation and co-production of publishable material to an external journal or to publish externally with eBU. For students, this is a fantastic opportunity to turn high quality essays or dissertations into scholarly outputs, which will be attractive to employers across many sectors and industries.
It is anticipated that author guidelines will be circulated in the coming weeks, and staff and students alike should begin to think about how they could submit to eBU.
If you have any questions or would like to become involved in this exciting venture, please get in touch with me via email firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone 01202 963025